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Low production costs keep our lamb producers ahead

Sheep Central, April 26, 2022

AUSTRALIA’S lower sheep meat cost of production continues to keep its leading producers among the most profitable in the world, a Meat & Livestock Australia-funded report has found.

According to the 2021 Global agribenchmark report, five of the six most profitable sheep meat farming operations in the world were Australian, with the remaining farm being a German operation receiving government subsidies.

The report provides an analysis of the performance of Australian sheep meat producers against 55pc of the global sheep flock as well as the performance of other farms.

Australian sheep meat producers hold seven of the top 10 export flows for sheep meat in the world.

Meat & Livestock said the report showed one Australian producers’ cost of production (COP) was well below the average for five of the six top operations. The Victorian producer’s cost of production at US$178/100kg was 36 percent of the global average of US$491/100kg, making it the fifth lowest in the world.

Meat & Livestock Australia said the report identified Australian sheep meat producers as some of the most efficient and diversified in the world, with costs of production well below the global average.

Australian sheep meat producers were also some of the most productive in the world when accounting for all associated production metrics.

Based upon total liveweight sold per ewe, three Australian farms achieved above average productivity. One of the New South Wales operations achieved the highest liveweight production per ewe in the world, at around 90kg lwt/ewe in 2021.

Australian growth rates and weaning weights also outperformed the global average, with kill weights increasing while other international operations remain constant. This demonstrated the significant impact of genetic improvement, available pasture quality and production management capabilities Australian farmers have implemented, MLA said.

MLA said Australian sheep meat producers hold seven of the top 10 export flows for sheep meat in the world, with the remaining three coming from New Zealand. Consequently, Australia and New Zealand are the two main sheep meat exporters in the world.

From 20072019, absolute sheep meat production in New Zealand fell by 106,000 tonnes, while Australian production rose. This demonstrated the key position Australian sheep meat producers hold in the export market and the growth the Australian sheep meat industry has experienced compared to its key competitor, New Zealand, MLA said.

Click here to read 2021 Global agribenchmark report.

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